Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has demanded that Britain’s Big Six utility companies pass on the benefits of lower costs to consumers so that they too enjoy the economic benefits of falling fossil-fuel prices.
He wrote an open letter to ScottishPower, SSE, E-on, EDF, RWE/Npower, Centrica and Energy UK to ask for assurances that lower wholesale energy costs, due to the falling price of oil, would be passed on to households and businesses.
He said: “Clearly, the wholesale price of energy, for both electricity and gas, is linked closely to the world price of oil and energy customers are therefore entitled to know when they can be expected to feel the benefit.
“In the interests of transparency and fairness, I would be grateful to understand from you when and to what extent the lower oil price is likely to be reflected in lower energy bills for households and businesses in Scotland. I also seek your reassurance that any cost savings will be passed on to customers at the earliest opportunity and to the fullest extent possible.”
Energy UK have issued a response claiming that energy suppliers are already passing on the benefits to customers, with prices significantly below that of last year.
In response, Lawrence Slade, interim Chief Executive, Energy UK – the London-based trade association which represents Britain’s electricity generators – said: “Energy suppliers are passing on price cuts to customers. When people shop around they can easily find deals that are over a hundred pounds cheaper than this time last year and following cuts in wholesale energy prices.”